Area Briefs

rotary Food Drive

MOORHEAD – Moorhead Rotary will host a food drive to benefit Churches United on Tuesday, February 2nd. 

Non-perishable foods and cash donations can be dropped off on the west side of Moorhead Center Mall parking lot from 9am – 5pm.

High priority needs include:

Pancake mix, syrup

Plain oatmeal (quick or old fashioned)

Boxed instant mashed potatoes or other potato dishes

Tuna or hamburger helper

Cooking oil, cooking spray

Mao, salad dressing, jams, jellies

Toilet paper, paper towels

Salt, pepper, catchup, mustard

Gift cards to your favorite grocery store for Churches United to purchase what is most needed.

Frostival Sleigh Rides

MOORHEAD – Moorhead Parks and Recreation will host sleigh rides through scenic M.B. Johnson Park, 3601 11th St N on January 31 from noon to 4pm.  

Frostival treats and refreshments will be available. Please call and reserve tickets for a certain time slot: 218.299.5296. Tickets will also be available on-site based off of capacity restrictions. Admission: $5 per person (children 2 and under free).

MDH lab testing confirms nation’s first known COVID-19 case associated with Brazil P.1 variant

ST. PAUL – The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) announced Tuesday that its Public Health Laboratory has found the variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus known as the Brazil P.1 variant in a specimen from a Minnesota resident with recent travel history to Brazil. While this variant is thought to be more transmissible than the initial strain of the virus that causes COVID-19 disease, it is not yet known whether the variant causes more severe illness.

This case marks the first documented instance of the Brazil P.1 variant in the United States. The variant was found through the MDH’s variant surveillance program. Each week this program collects 50 random samples from the University of Minnesota clinical laboratories, Infinity Biologix Laboratory in Oakdale, and other testing partners and then conducts special testing using a process called whole genome sequencing. Through this program, the state develops a more accurate picture of what specific forms of COVID-19 are circulating in Minnesota.

According to Minnesota Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm, this new finding underscores the importance of COVID-19 testing as well as continued efforts by all Minnesotans to limit the spread of the disease.

“We’re thankful that our testing program helped us find this case, and we thank all Minnesotans who seek out testing when they feel sick or otherwise have reason to get a test,” Minnesota Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm said. “We know that even as we work hard to defeat COVID-19, the virus continues to evolve as all viruses do. That’s yet another reason why we want to limit COVID-19 transmission – the fewer people who get COVID-19, the fewer opportunities the virus has to evolve. The good news is that we can slow the spread of this variant and all COVID-19 variants by using the tried-and-true prevention methods of wearing masks, keeping social distance, staying home when sick, and getting tested when appropriate.”

The patient with the Brazil P.1 variant is a resident of the Twin Cities metro area. The person became ill during the first week of January and the specimen was collected Jan. 9. The patient spoke with MDH case investigators after the initial test came back positive for COVID-19, and reported traveling to Brazil prior to becoming ill. The person was advised during that interview to isolate from others and have any household contacts observe quarantine, as per standard protocol. With the new lab information showing the case to be the Brazil P.1 variant, MDH epidemiologists are re-interviewing the person to obtain more details about the illness, travel and contacts. 

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